Thursday, September 13, 2012

Peek into a Working Mom's Day with a 4.5 Month Old

We seem to always want what we don't have at the moment
I was telling a couple people the other day how I’m kind of grateful I was single for eight years while in my twenties. If I knew back then I’d be saying this now, I think I would’ve cried. Overtime, I’ve started to accept that God did have a plan for me back then and still does now. He works in such ways…
Why? Well, back then I learned how to become self-sufficient and I learned a lot about myself and that not everything comes easy. That was really the time I became an adult. And I needed to become one before I ever became a mom to Jackson - to be the best mom. I loved how one of my high school friends wrote on my Facebook wall, “God knew that YOU would be the perfect mom for Jackson.  Thanks Megan! Needed to hear that.
Trying out his Johnny Jump Up for the first time

Back then, I whined a lot about how I wished I could find someone to take care of me. I wanted someone with man muscles to buy the 40 pound bag of salt for my water softener and pour it in for me. I wanted someone else to have to remember to change the furnace filters and pay bills, manage the money. I wanted someone to tell me not to worry about money and pay for everything. To change the batteries in the smoke detectors and a flat tire on my car. To balance the checkbook. To have meals waiting for me. I wanted someone to clean all four toilets and empty the dishwasher.
But most of all I just wanted someone to LOVE me for me.
I wanted… I wanted… I wanted…
And I waited.
It was clear this person did not exist…or at least I needed to change my expectations a little.
What I needed was to be single and learn the responsibilities of life. I needed to be patient and just let things be.  "My time would come," I'd hear from a zillion people.
TIMING was everything. Timing IS everything. I realize this more and more the older I get.
This world revolves around time a lot.
Now that I’m a mom… There is NEVER down time. Ever. There are no happy hours. No volleyball games after work. No quick trips to the mall. My break right now is the 20-minute drive from work to daycare Monday through Friday. I don’t count the drive into work because I’m still waking up. Yesterday I didn’t even remember where I was driving to and realized I missed my turn and was going in the wrong direction. Oh, the joys!

A typical day during the work week goes something like this. I’ll start from 12:01 a.m. – a brand new day!

1:20 a.m. Feeding time. Jackson rolls around in his crib like mad (butt high up in the air) and his head crashes into the railings waking him and us up. If he won’t calm down, I change his diapers (sometimes Karl will help with this!) snuggle him up and feed him. Once done eating, I put him back down.
Butt high!

2:00 a.m. Mom goes back to bed. Usually I’ll fall asleep within 15 minutes. Usually.

5:30 a.m.  Alarm is set to go off for work (I have YET to hear it go off – Jackson gets to me first). This gives me enough time to feed Jackson. If his last feeding is anywhere before 2:30 a.m., I feed him again before we drop him off at daycare. If it’s after 2:30, I can sleep until 6:00!!!!! Woot.

6:00 a.m. If I feed him at 5:30, I put a sleepy Jackson back into his crib and jump in the shower. I think about shaving my legs, but that requires too much work. I pretend to sleep as I stand under the water. Quickly apply makeup, sing to Karl to get up (he grunts) and I head downstairs.

6:30 a.m. Water outside plants. Fill out a report for Jenna (home care) to let her know when Jackson ate last, how he slept, and any other notes. Grab frozen bags of breast milk if I need to. Fix myself oatmeal, fill my pumping machine bag with bottles and lids off the drying rack, pump parts, hands-free bra, cooler bag and ice pack. Make sure Jackson’s travel bag has extra pair of clothes in it, with his hat and any teething toys. Sing again to Karl to get up but this time from the bottom of the stairs (it gets louder). Turn on the news. Start coffee. Eat oatmeal. Make sure bowl for rice cereal is out for Jackson, spoon is ready for when I get home from work.

6:45 a.m. Swallow vitamins. Pull out our healthy lunches. Go upstairs and get dressed, fix hair, give Jackson a kiss goodbye and smooch up Karl who is now looking at me like a tired desperate puppy dog, begging for more sleep.

7:00 a.m. Head for work. Try to find a radio station with music, no talking. Hard to do. I need music. Pop in a CD that skips over and over. Fight traffic. Guzzle coffee. Can’t tell you what I think about…other than I just try to wake up.

7:30 a.m. Arrive at work. Email Jenna to make sure Jackson arrived and all is well. She usually gets to me first and gives me a happy report. Then my work day begins.

9:00 a.m. First pumping session. Check in on Jackson. Go over my To-Do list for week. Check email, Facebook, look for easy, healthy recipes on Pinterest (saving grace). Review drafts of any blog posts.

9:30-12:00 Work

12:00 Second pumping session. Check in on Jackson. Go over my To-Do list for week. Hope to cross some things off. Check email, Facebook, look for recipes on Pinterest (saving grace). Review drafts of blog posts.

12:30-12:45 Eat lunch at desk most days. Try to step away for a little bit. Sometimes will call my momma! Sometimes will take 30 minutes to run an errand. Sometimes will just go on a quick walk to breathe.

12:45-2:00 Work

2:00 Go wash all pumping parts in lunchroom.

2:05-3:00 Work

3:00 Third pumping session. Check in on Jackson. Go over my To-Do list for week. Keep adding to it…

3:30-4:00 Work

4:00 Grab bottles of milk from work fridge and ice pack. Calculate how much I pumped for the day. Head out of the door. Tie up hair, roll down windows, turn up music and sing on top of my lungs. Think about if I’ll get to work out. Or if I’ll have enough energy to write a few pages in my manuscript.  What was I going to make for dinner again? Who was I supposed to call back?

4:30 Pull up to home care. Melt when I see Jackson. Nothing else matters except him at that moment. Give him his medicine (needs to take it 30 minutes before eating). Chat with Jenna and her adorable kids. Leave feeling SO blessed to have found her. EVERY TIME.

*4:30-5:00 Drive home. Read Jackson’s report from Jenna at all the stoplights. Find out when he ate last. When he pooped. His last diaper change. The things he did. How much he ate in ounces. Figure in if I’ll have to pump any extra times to make up for any of the ounces drank. Wonder where that milk will come from? Feeling tapped out. Stress about it. Will I make it to 6 months? 7? A full year of breast feeding?

5:00 Grab all ten things of stuff from my car and set them inside. Grab Jackson (who is usually sleeping) and haul him in. Quickly pull out dirty pump parts from bag and put them next to sink. Take out all four bottles of milk and stick them in the fridge. Fill his bowl with cereal and pour b-milk in it – stir up. Pull out recipe for dinner I’ll be making. Try to make it to the bathroom quick before Jackson stirs.

5:15 Pull out an awake Jackson from his car seat. Hug him and kiss him to pieces. Tell him how much I love him and miss him. Breathe him in. YUMMY. Change him if I need to upstairs. Grab My Brestfriend to nurse him after he eats solids. Stir up his rice cereal again. Set him in his highchair. Put a bib on him and start feeding him. He tries to grab spoon every time. Not the cleanest moment.

5:30 Nursing time. Check Facebook, email and any missed calls. Maybe watch a show I DVRd. Who was that person I was supposed to try and get back to? I breathe and listen to myself. Rub Jackson’s hair and head.

6:00 PLAY TIME with Jackson. Tons of fun!
I'm gonna start walking soon!

6:30 Turn TV on for a second to record Wheel of Fortune. Shut off. Run back and forth from kitchen to Jackson playing. Pull out ingredients for dinner. Try whipping together a healthy meal as best I can.

7:00 Eat. Jackson begins to get fussy. Rubs eyes. Cleanup is not an option. Sometimes we try to fit in a walk here.

7:30 KARL HOME!!!!!!!!!! YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. Smoochie and huggie bear time. He takes Jackson and will either watch Wheel of Fortune or give Jackson a bath. Sometimes I get to watch Wheel too!I clean up as fast as I can (empty and fill dishwasher) and put leftovers in containers for lunch.
Me likey Whole Grain Rice Cereal

7:45 Rats. Didn’t clean up everything or transfer bottles to bags yet. Go upstairs to nurse Jackson. Stick to our nightly schedule of bath or dimmed lights, nurse, book, goodnight prayers and bed.

8:15 Jackson in crib. Sometimes he’s out even before I get him there. Sometimes it’s a little bit of crying. If we mess with the schedule, it’s full out screaming.

8:25 Back downstairs to finish what I started. Karl is back working (but at least I get to see his face)and playing Words with Friends against my brother Mike or talking to his dad. I transfer b-milk from bottles to bags. Bags in freezer. Make sure one bottle is left in fridge so I can add to solids. Clean all parts and bottles first. Hang to dry. Think about pumping. No desire to. When would I?

8:45 Sometimes I’ll have a bowl of ice cream.  Sometimes I’ll throw myself on the couch for 2 minutes.  Sometimes I’ll bust out a draft for a blog post to review while I’m pumping at work the next day.

9:00 SO DEAD TIRED. Up to bed I go. I open one page of a magazine and realize I’m too tired to read anything. Set my alarm, then wonder why I’m even setting it. Say goodnight to my best.

10:00 Sleeping. If my brain shuts off...

*We now have Karl’s parents watch Jackson on Tuesdays. Win win for everyone! This means Karl goes and picks him up after work (if he can and doesn’t have a load of patients) and I CAN GO WORK OUT!!!!!!!!!!
Right now weekends pretty much follow the above, minus pumping and working. Instead there is laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, errands, walking outside and nursing and a lot more playing! Oh, and usually family wants to see us.
So yeah…there are days I wonder why I didn’t enjoy those 8 years a little more. And I get mad at myself for wishing for a different life back then than the one I was walking in. To me, it was pretty AWESOME. That brings me to the question… would I trade this new life in? Not for anything!!!! Bring it on!
Every man dies. Not every man truly lives.

-William Wallace


Whoa!!! I'm tired just reading this. Thank you SO MUCH for validating the life of the single gal in her late 20's :) It's tough feeling like I'm "behind" in life sometimes....but like you said, it is important to remember that God has plans and we need to be patient and trusting of HIS timeline.

Kari K

Lol. Yes, enjoy it all while you can. Live in the moment!!!

Lol. Yes, enjoy it all while you can. Live in the moment!!!

Ha, yes, your day sounds oddly similar to mine :-) Except I don't pump. But picking Aubrey up is hands down the best part of my day. Totally get what you mean!

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